Slideshow: Paul Robeson sings “Joe Hill”

January 5, 2010

Setting the record straight: did the Nepali Maoists ban strikes?

January 5, 2010

Reprinted from Comrade Alastair.

Nepal’s Maoists are often accused of being anti-worker, Stalinist, bourgeois nationalist and so on by many on the Western ‘left’, particularly anarchists and Trotskyists. As ‘evidence’ towards this, it is often claimed that while in government earlier this year, they ‘banned strikes’.

Let’s set the record straight.

The Maoists never banned strikes. All the militant, class struggle fighting unions are Maoist unions, and since their change in tactics in 2006 and the shift of the struggle to the urban areas the Maoists have essentially taken over the trade union movement in Nepal, as well as the bulk of the student unions. They regularly lead strikes for both political issues and bread and butter issues like pay and conditions. They have strongholds amongst the teachers, hotel workers, petrol workers, workers in many SEZs and industrial zones, and more. They never stopped leading strikes – they just called a three day general strike across Nepal!

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